Monthly Archives: June 2006

To The Rock Garden

This Is How She Gets All The Way Up On Oricon

Visiting Elements Garden’s website makes me wonder, “are they hiding any more people?” They’re a new bunch of people, relatively, but since I stumbled upon this peculiar organization it made things slightly more clear as to “where did all these songs and music come from?” There are musical threads that links them all together.

But aside from that neat tidbit I have been savoring for a few months, Jal’s revelation was no more shocking to me than how no one likes Hikaru Nanase‘s Scrapped Princess soundtrack besides myself? (I think I have as many CDs from each of them, oddly enough.) And what’s up with all the Mizoguchi fans? Where have you gone? And there is just no push behind, say, Ryo Kunihiko, except spottily glorious reviews about Twelve Kingdom. Sure, we hear about YK and YK and maybe occationally some video game music big-shot, and Kunihiko probably charges just as much…

To me, they are all well-accomplished musicians, and just an excerpt from a short list of many others in the anime score and songwriting industry. Granted not every work they put out is gold, but they score rather high. Marc Mancina’s Blood+ is just as good as any. The disparaging amount of attention is disturbing. Granted I think once people latch on names as labels, the game is over and we don’t listen for quality anymore, but even before then it’s all too often a game about matching–taste or style to anime and its audience.

Back to gardening: Elements Garden is not only behind her HUUEG hit, but behind this as well. ZOMG. Does that explain the picture? I hope so.


A Collision of Snarks

It comes to me as no surprise that these three people are going to Animelo to perform. The intersection between anime, music, and idol personalities has always been one of my most liked aspect about Japanese Visual Culture. My favorite jpop personality is probably one of those people spearheading this thing from the beginning a few years ago…probably also not by accident, both ways.

Oh, actually what really tipped me off was watching Suzumiya Haruhi 12. Somehow things worked out that I watched Nana 10 right after, and double-stacking the band-ness really created this strange chasm of feelings. I guess that’s what Haruko Haruhara means when she pulled Kanti out of Naota’s head.

But this impromptu announcement matched the plot within episode 12. It’s probably a coincidence in as far as a contractual obligation (such as MUCC’s announcement with Otakon, if you’re familiar with that story), but it may be the same obligation I’m talking about. If that is the case, whoever did it is snarky to a deranged degree.

A Tribute to Lordi

Then again, Suzumiya Haruhi and its production generally have been rather sharp. It comes from both the fans, as well as individuals with KyoAni. Intelligence and a high level of coordination are generally seen so far both within the show as well as with what people are doing with it. Will the sequence of smart things continue for this soon-slotted-away TV series? It’s not going to run silent, but will it run deep?


Fight the Loli

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, a world of horror.

In a lot of ways Higurashi’s tricks are nothing special. The unassuming loli doing a crazy psychological horror twist to haunt the consciousness of a male-protagonist-harem-lead-ero-game-player is probably the most straight-forward incantation of this narrative spell. But like any good mystery, there are some elements that are worth watching for, even if they are the mundane, everyday elements that every mystery story shares. The start, the setup, the final collapse of the scheme, the unraveling of the charade spiraling to the end of the story, the 4th-wall self-satire, all of that, I say, is what make a mystery story any good.

In some ways Higurashi anime cheats, too. Its nonlinear, nonsequential-parallel, alternate approach to the narrative gives us at least 3 different way to look at the same setup and that’s like having the Luftwaffe doing 3 hit-and-run passes at Allied bombers than the single pass. Unfair. But it does work out very well to diffuse those inevitable problems with other adaptations that did not share the same format–lack of traction after a time, poor pacing, and the ability to stick with the source material while maintaining enjoyment as a different medium.

In the end, however, does it really matter? We’re treated to a show that is all about form and the form is so unique that I can’t remember any show like it. Elfen Lied? Not even close. It doesn’t quite drive you to apathy; rather it drives you to amusement because in a very close-by perspective to “ZOMG that is actually creepy” is “HAHAHA this is so ridiculous.” I suppose that is good, too, because it does keep you guessing to a degree. And to that, it’s kudos to the source material.

Maybe if it wasn’t a show about harem-like loli killing each other, it might actually be taken for serious. Even if it won’t be half as funny as is.


A Public Service Announcement

Ranpha

Galaxy Angel the game series HAS to come over! Go to their forums and chime in! Make a lot of noise! And buy the game when it comes out!

Because you know you want Milfuelle and Mint and Ranpha and Forte and Ms. H! Especially when they shoot stuff while you control~

Part Two: Hazukashii Serifu Kinshi!

It’s a moving moment. I wanted to write poetry. It wasn’t fitting; but it did answer one of my questions about love. It was going to be part 2 of something important, but sort of last minute I decided against it.

It was also a good joke that I thought someone could make while linking to my blog.


The Question of Suzumiya Haruhi

I am a Harutard. Or Haruhi-tard? Whatever.

Bridge Bunny Yuki

And I am not ashamed of it. Why? Because it’s worth the hype. Or rather, shows like this needs the hype.

I think in a lot of ways Suzumiya Haruhi is the centered, neutral approach to deal with a real 4th-wall story. Take Genshiken for example. Aside from the character drama, what draws the show in for us is its otaku references and mirroring a life too close to real for some of us. However, while that was all a lot of fun for me, what draws me is Saki; her mainstream representation and the invariable conflict which always arise from the slow and painful road she started by dating Kousaka.

What I am trying to say is that Suzumiya Haruhi no Uuutsu is doing exactly the same thing, but from the bottom-up. What if the Sasahara is the anchor, the norm, the voice of reason (as he kind of is sometimes)? What if we swap out the sick otaku references and the war against fujoshi and swap in a bit of X-Phile-ism and, well, more popular references to the mainstream? Like some classic science fiction, mainstream video games, books, and websites?

Or the pure, simple idea of a science fiction reality? Breaching the wall directly and attack escapism? It channels the feeling of a 10yo when he first watched E.T. the first time, or A New Hope. It’s innocent.

At least, that’s what it appears to be. It’s what makes Suzumiya Haruhi such a hard-to-polarize story I think. People generally react positively or negatively towards hype, and I seriously cannot find good criticism against Suzumiya Haruhi on the whole without someone talking about how hyped it is. Is that really a fault of the show?

Suzumiya Haruhi rallies. It flags the fantasy spirit under its indiscriminatory banner. It avoids the scandalous (for the most part). It sounds reasonable. It is fantastic. It fancies its viewers.
Which makes sense that I don’t think this show is over-hyped. Not so much because I have a high opinion of the show (although it would seem), but because it is a part of what the show is about.

To that end, Suzumiya Haruhi is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t care about that pure science fiction spirit, you probably won’t care for this show either. If you’ve outgrown it, you’ll find the show rather elementary and lacking that magical touch. It’s half the reason why I believe there was an episode-shuffling going on. But for anime fans, Suzumiya Haruhi hits one of the key reasons of what made us who we are in terms of what we watch, and that is what matters in the end.